The Jesus Phoenix Hypothesis
In worldbuilding sometimes you use what you have around you to help with the heavy lifting borrowing from myths and legends and building on those. Maybe even twist them a bit to suit your purposes.
For my Mythical Desires Universe, I not only borrow from secular myths and legends, I borrow from theological ones as well. For instance, the Saint George myth is one that has elements of secular and theological myth telling. The myth existed before Christianity and the general myth of rescuing a princess from a dragon was even passed from one knight to another. You can read up on the myth here.
Easter is an interesting combination of myths and symbolism. One story that is closely related to Easter is the resurrection of Jesus. It could be said that it’s one of the most popular myths in the world.
There is a striking similarity between the myth of the phoenix and the resurrection myth.
Jesus, The Phoenix Shifter?
In the Mythical Desires Universe, there exists a shifter species that are phoenixes. They aren’t the focus of the universe yet, but they have a pretty important place in the lives of the Brantley dragons. Their mother, Corley, is a phoenix.
In the Saint George Chronicles, Xavior talked about seeing his mother go through a phoenix cycle as a young child. For him it was a scary event, watching his mother be consumed by fire and then burn to ash, and rise from those ashes as a newly born phoenix.
Corley, when she’s in her phoenix form, is the size of a large prehistoric bird that gives off embers creating a halo effect. In her bipedal form, she has a visible aura of light around her person that brightens as she progresses toward a phoenix cycle. Right before Corley combusts and turns to ash, she looks like a bird-shaped fire.
While it’s never stated in the Christ myth that he burns or turns to ash, (Edit: I did forget about Ash Wednesday when I wrote this. It kicks off Lent, and represents Jesus’s time in the desert. Not exactly connected to his resurrection, but it’s definitely resurrection adjacent.) there are two similarities. One is the halo of light or aura often given to Jesus in some depictions, and the other is the resurrection event itself.
In my universe, phoenixes have cycles every one hundred years they are alive, and can live for quite some time. The one thing that isn’t known is how many phoenix cycles an individual might have. Each cycle renews the phoenix for a century of time. It’s possible, with healthy living that a phoenix without any more cycles could live beyond a century.
The matriarch of the Brantley family has been through five phoenix cycles so far. She hasn’t had any events that would trigger a phoenix cycle to save her life, unlike Xavior. It’s thought that five is the average number of cycles for any phoenix shifter. Though because phoenix shifters are rare, it’s not well known if this is true or not.
SO, back the Jesus mythos.
Based on the worldbuilding I currently have, one might assume that Jesus might have been a phoenix shifter, moving from one place to another with ease. Emitting a visible glowing aura, and resurrecting via a phoenix event because of an untimely death at the hands of the Romans.
But because I have theology at play in my worldbuilding (Angels and demons do exist in the Mythical Desires Universe), it’s possible he was exactly what he was and the power of human belief resurrected him from his untimely death.
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